It's all complicated by the fact that I'm a solo founder. I don't have a business partner with whom to vet these ideas. I'm lucky to have encountered a few inspiring blogs and people to be my lodestars:
- Josh Baer, Gabriel Weinberg, Dave Troy, Jason Cohen, Chris Ashworth, Scott Messinger, Paul Capestany, Brent Halliburton, Rob Wray, Ben Walsh: an incomplete sampling people I look up to who have taken this risk before me, who have done it alone. Just having friends do this, even if they haven't all succeeded wildly, is by itself a powerful encouragement.
- Gabriel Weinberg's Will single founders please stand up? and his history of mostly failed projects. Pretty awesome example of trying doggedly to achieve what I'm doing and eventually succeeding. I'd recommend reading all of the startup posts on his blog.
- Dave Troy's idea gardening: argues for an incremental, diverse approach to starting new projects. Instead of rushing in to build one thing, spend some time developing a few ideas to see which one gets traction. A very good complement to Gabriel's history of failed projects.
- Startup Lessons Learned is probably my favorite blog because it had such a transformative, teaching influence on me. Eric Ries explains how to apply lean manufacturing techniques to new business formation - which may sound boring on first glance, but it's actually a revolutionary and exciting theory that encourages you to make your efforts all about learning as much as you can as quickly as you can about the problem you're trying to solve. I would every post on this blog.
- Ash Maurya's The Fallacy of Customer Development describes applying Eric Ries' lean startup techniques and the Four Steps to the Epiphany model of customer development to a web startup.
- Jason Cohen's blog: very personable advice and war stories about entrepreneurship. Be sure to check out his recent post about the systematic process he used to start his most recent company (a process I am trying to emulate now). I often recommend to people his post "You're a small company, now act like one".
I hope this list helps others considering this path!